Stress-Free Holidays: Tips on Reducing Stress and Headaches During the Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, our lives tend to get a little more hectic that usual. Work and school schedules change, the weather turns colder, and there are events and time with family and friends to enjoy.

But sometimes, this extra busy time of year can lead to additional stress, tension, and headaches, which can hamper your enjoyment of the holidays.

“Although headaches are common, they definitely are not normal,” says Dr. Michael Waido at Sycamore Integrated Health. “They are the result of physical, chemical, or emotional stress on the body which creates tension on the muscles and vascular tissue that surround the head and irritating the nervous system.”

Because the holiday season typically involves a lot of errands, planning, organizing, and altering your normal routines, the physical strain can take its toll. Most often, this taxes the neck more than we realize, where most headaches stem from, as Dr. Waido explains.

“Over 90% of headaches are considered to be cervicogenic, meaning from the neck. It makes sense that the condition of our muscles, ligaments, and joints that make up and support the spine can contribute to irritation of the nervous system and create headaches when they aren’t properly functioning.”

It’s important then to remember to take time for yourself during the busy holidays to reduce your stress levels and chances of suffering from headaches. Here are a few helpful guidelines:

  • Try to plan and shop as far in advance as possible. This will eliminate a lot of last-second hustle.
  • Eat healthy and avoid most of the sugary holiday goodies.
  • Rest. Maintaining a consistent, proper sleep schedule is vital to your overall health.
  • Maintain, or create a new, exercise routine. Daily exercise is a proven stress reliever, and crucial for your strength and metabolism.
  • Take the time to visit a chiropractor if you experience headaches or tension in your neck or back.

By doing these things, you can significantly lessen the chances of dealing with those uncomfortable pains and fully enjoy your festivities. But sometimes, you may need a little extra help.

“As chiropractors, we assess for dysfunction in the spine and treat it with a variety of methods to restore movement, as well as physical therapy to retrain and support the spine to maintain a faster and longer-lasting relief of symptoms,” Dr. Waido said.

“My advice to people who commonly experience headaches is to absolutely get evaluated by a chiropractor. A chiropractor can help you if your headaches are coming from dysfunction of your neck, and afterwards you will no longer be burdened with trying to manage the discomfort of frequent headaches.”

Don’t let the holidays stress you out! For more information or questions on how integrated health practices can help you reduce tension and headaches, visit or call 815-895-3354.

Sycamore Integrated Health

920 W Prairie Dr STE J

Sycamore, IL 60178